Easy Dog Nail Trimming – How to Cut Dog’s Toenail

Dog paw and nail

Dog nail care is important. If not trimmed regularly, they might grow too much and break, or grow back into the paw. Here are easy dog nail trimming tips, beginner dog groomers and owners might find helpful.

Never forget whose nails you’re trimming

Dog nails are cupped, so it’s necessary to use a dog claw clipper. Be gentle and cheerful, dogs get nervous when you touch their paws. Beginner dog groomers should be more careful. Owner most likely won’t get bitten, but groomer can. There is a quick inside a nail, cutting it might cause bleeding and pain. Books say 2-4 mm is a good length to locate the quick. I prefer to cut slowly if the quick is not visible (some dogs have white nails and quick is pinkish). If you cut nails closer to the quick, dogs usually make noise or try to escape.

Cutting dog nails

As a groomer, I prefer to trim dog nails after bathing, because they get softer. U-shaped claw clipper works nice, and it’s easy to use. If a dog is active and doesn’t obey you ask someone to hold her. It’s better to cut the back paw nails first. Dogs most likely have 18 claws, rarely 20-22. Never forget to trim dewclaws (fifth claw), they grow fast. Some breeds have stronger nails. There was a fox terrier with nail growth issue I knew. Trimming her claws was not an option because quick had grown very much. Small surgery became necessary to shorten her nails. The dog was not taking enough walks to file the nails, which were already stiffer than most dogs have.

dog paw
Dog paw

If you cause a bleeding

Do not panic. Noticing blood means you cut into a quick. But it will stop in two minutes. If you are a beginner groomer, you might get super nervous about owners reaction. Try to stay calm and explain that there is nothing to worry about. Use the special stop-bleeding powder and dip bleeding nail in it. Mostly after 2-3 minutes bleeding will stop and you can clean the paw. If by any chance bleeding doesn’t stop after 10 minutes, call the vet.

  • Try to choose the right time
  • Be careful and gentle
  • Do not rush
  • Do not panic
  • Do not squeeze dog’s paw too hard
  • Reward the dog !

How to keep dog nails short

Regular walking on the pavement is a good way to help your dog to file its claws. Check their nails regularly if they get longer than usual better to trim them before claws get stiffer. Owners are mostly afraid to hurt the dog. Here, you can always file dog nails and avoid bleeding for good.

Never forget to praise the dog after trimming their nails. Some rewards will be a nice gift after unimaginable torture they had to go through. My American Cocker Spaniel always squabbles when I suggest trimming her nails. She gives up as soon as I promise to give her dog cookies later.


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